The Footprint Viewport

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The Footprint Viewport

The footprint viewport show you a stylised view of the footprint or land pattern for your device. The footprint viewport is very similar to a PCB viewport but has characteristics that are relevant to PCB footprint design rally PCB viewport as characteristics relevant to laying out your parts and routing them together using electrical tracks.

The key electrical components of your footprint are clearly shown and differ quite significantly from an actual 3-D view.


Pads are shown as solid rectangles colored the same as a  Top or bottom layer, or optionally coloured yellow. (You would have them colored yellow so you can clearly see what is a part in what is a normal copper area).

Pads are used as areas to glue the parts to the PCB. The glue being the electrical solder.

The placement point

Also other items are shown stylized, for instance the placement point which is used for pick and place. This is shown as a simple white on black cross. You move this cross to define the placement point to be used in pick and place.

Silkscreens and the part reference ID

You also see the silkscreen pattern. This consists of text that is the parts reference ID and other graphical objects usually used to define the placement of the part on the PCB.

Silkscreen patterns are for human consumption only and are not used electrically by the PCB. In fact, for cost conscious device,s you will not actually use a silkscreen and this will save you a lot of money. However, the silkscreen allows service personnel to locate parts on the device if they intend to repair the PCB.

The silkscreen is a real object that is actually placed on your final PCB like a placementpoint which you will never see on the PCB.

The courtyard rectangle

Another thing that you will see is the courtyard rectangle. This is a rectangular area that defines the area used by the part on your PCB and helps prevent overlapping of adjacent parts.

This view was in sharp contrast to the feed if you which shows a more photorealistic view of your PCB but did not show the abstract data. So you will see the footprint pads but you will not see the placement point for the courtyard rectangle.

Holes and cutouts

If you add any holes or cutouts to the footprint these are shown as black circles or the case of cutouts either circles ellipses, polygons, rectangles or curved black cutouts. The shape will have a colored line around it